We are going to start this issue at the north tip of Andros Island, which is called Morgan’s Bluff. Cruisers can find a nice anchorage next to the water dock, where being so big, Andros Island provides Nassau over half its fresh water via tankers. A short distance away is the famed cave of Henry Morgan. The entrance is hidden well but the cave gets plenty of sunlight. Can you imagine hanging out here with famous Captain?
The interior of the island is a combination of a pine forest with lots of low lying scrub. The roads make for some great bicycling and you will find blue holes, which are all over the Bahamas on land and in the shallow water. Some are only 30 feet deep, while others are over 600. They are formed when a section of a cave’s ceiling collapses forming a circle going straight down and are connected to the ocean at some point. The ones on Andros island have a layer of fresh water sitting on top of the salt water for a depth of 15-30 feet.
Another stop is the Mennonite farm, which is a way of life similar to the Amish except mechanical tools are permitted. I found them to be very friendly and quite willing to show off the farm. I was most intrigued with the bee keeping and the process of bottling honey.
If you sail 30 miles or so south you will find the all weather anchorage of Fresh Creek. Do not try and enter the AUTEC base just south of the town, because you will not be welcomed into the naval underwater testing site. Once your boat is secured in the middle of town, you can check out the Androsia factory. Here you can watch all the steps as this well-known fabric is hand made by using wax stamps to create designs and soaked in colored dyes.
Some other sites around town include the allegedly haunted lighthouse built in 1892 amidst protest by the locals who made good money savaging wrecked ships. I took the dinghy up Fresh Creek and found what appeared to be a kid’s clubhouse in the middle of the mangroves. Just outside town is another blue hole called Captain Bill’s, which is unique since it has a community pavilion you can jump from.
Location, Location, Location!
Even though Andros is the biggest island in the Bahamas it is also one of the most remote, and If you go to the three bights halfway to 2/3 of the way down the island you will REALLY be out in the middle of nowhere. These bights are wide and shallow saltwater tidal creeks cutting across the island. You can spend days anchored in different locations in the bights enjoying the solitude. Plus, since Andros boost the third largest reef in the world, and very few people make it here, I can guarantee you will be amazed with the snorkeling and diving.
The one thing you do have to watch out for on Andros is the large local fly called a Doctor Fly, because when they bite you it feels like you just got a shot!